Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for medical, nursing and midwifery students

Guidance on student support for medical, nursing and midwifery students during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance is not current.

Nursing and Midwifery students in their first year of pre-registration programmes


Students in year one will continue with their studies and remain on their programme. However, the nature of the programme will be adapted so that students will see their academic studies continue but their clinical placement time will be paused.

You may volunteer or undertake paid work within a healthcare setting while maintaining your academic study. In line with current guidelines, volunteering or paid work will not be counted towards practice hours and experience.

What this means for your education programme

As set out above, you will continue to undertake your academic studies in line with the current programme via the distance/online learning approaches agreed with their university.

However, due to the pause on clinical placements you may not be able to complete the usual level of practice hours in your first year, but you should not be concerned about this. The NMC will work closely with the Council of Deans of Health and your university to assess what this means for students and how they can be supported to reach the required number of practice hours across the remaining period of their course, and to achieve the required academic and practice competencies within the original timeframe of your degree. Where this requires ongoing changes to the structure of programmes, NHS Education for Scotland, on behalf of the Chief Nurse, will monitor the impact at universities to ensure that outcomes are achieved. Each university will have its own arrangements as all programmes are different, and your university will answer questions you have on this.

Will this have a financial impact on students?

As you are remaining on your programme, your financial arrangements will continue as present. If you receive a SAAS bursary, it will continue, including any allowances.

If you take a break in studies, you should discuss this with your university, as continuation of bursary will be dependent on the reasons for the break, under the same conditions as at present.

What action do students need to take?

You do not need to take any direct action at this stage. Your university will be in contact to explain how your academic studies will be delivered during this time and will be available to answer any questions or concerns through existing pastoral support routes.

If you do wish to volunteer or undertake work outwith your programme, you should register on the NHS portal at



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